nl en

MA Thesis Classics and Ancient Civilizations (incl. seminar)



The MA thesis is based on original research and makes substantial use of primary material and professional literature. As a rule the thesis is written in English (exceptions possible) and reflects the scholarly virtues of originality, focus and concision. The thesis must show the student’s ability to conduct original research under supervision, and to make a contribution to scholarship in a way that inspires confidence in his/her ability to prepare written reports of good quality.

The topics of MA theses Classics and Ancient Civilizations generally imply working with primary sources in the original languages or relevant archeological data.
All theses in the specialization Classics are based on a substantial amount of primary texts in Greek or Latin relevant to the line of investigation, which is either of a linguistic or literary nature, or of a cultural-historical nature; in the case of the latter, one of the two supervisors should be from a language section and one from the cultural-historical disciplines. In these cases, the thesis plan must be approved by both first and second reader before the start of the writing process.

The thesis process also includes the CAC Seminar: Studying and Writing the Ancient World with sessions about the four specializations and the history of the disciplines, workshops from the Student Career Service (among other topics: Analysing skills and job market orientation Classics and Ancient Civilizations, CV & application letter, Analysing vacancies and meeting alumni) and Thesis sessions on the following topics:
1) Thesis structure and a research question
2) Writing and style
3) Thesis start up and troubleshooting (incl. plagiarism).

Students themselves approach one of the staff members possessing the appropriate expertise in the field addressed in the thesis as a supervisor for their MA thesis.The Board of Examiners has to approve the supervision of the thesis and assigns a second reader.


Students should be able to write their MA Thesis in one semester. Make sure that you start early with the orientation on your thesis subject and that you speak with your proposed supervisor in time.

For students planning to graduate in August, the final deadline for handing in the definite version of their MA thesis is Friday 10 August 2018, in any case consult with your supervisor, after which the first supervisor and second reader can assess it. This allows for sufficient time to officially graduate on 31 August 2018 (ceremony in September/October).
N.B. From the 1st of July until the middle of August supervision of theses does not take place. Therefore, students ideally hand in the final version of their thesis before the 1st of July.

For students planning to graduate in January, the deadline for handing in the final version of their MA thesis is the Monday 15 January 2018, after which the supervisor and second reader can assess it. This allows for sufficient time to officially graduate on 31 January 2018 (ceremony in February/March).

Students are advised to discuss the actual time path with their supervisor as early as possible. Supervisors may have plans for research and may not always be available during the periods when no classes are taught.

Mode of instruction

Independent research.

Assessment method

The thesis for the MA program Classics and Ancient Civilizations contains a maximum of 15,000 words including notes, bibliography and appendices. More information about the official regulations regarding the MA thesis can be found in the attachment of the Teaching and Examination Regulations.

Please put the following information on the cover/title page of the thesis:

  • Title (and subtitle)

  • Name and student number

  • E-mail address

  • Name of supervisor(s)

  • Date

  • Master Thesis Classics and Ancient Civilizations

  • Faculty of Humanities, Leiden University


For the CAC seminar: Studying and Writing the Ancient World Blackboard (code: 5864VMA-0000FGW) is used for communication.

Students are required to submit their MA thesis via Turnitin in order to check the thesis for plagiarism. Therefore, we ask our students, when you hand in the paper versions to your supervisor, also to upload your final version via Turnitin on the same Blackboard page.


Registration for the seminar via uSis (code: 5864VCLTW). Registration for the MA Thesis in uSis is not required.

Contact and more information

Ms. J.K. Koning MA (Study advisor and coordinator)